Photo of the Day for August 31, 2014

August 30, 2014 7:00 pm

Forester Mikalaj’s grandchildren, Vjeljamichy 2014.  Унукі лесніка Мікалая, Велямічы 2014 г.

A forester working in his yard noticed us as we stood taking photos of Lake Sijatsy and the summer pastures on the other bank.  He approached and we began to chat about the central Polesian wetlands.  Our conversation aroused the curiosity of his grandchildren, visiting for the summer, and they peeked around the corner.

Photo of the Day for August 30, 2014

August 29, 2014 7:00 pm

View across Lake Sjatsy to summer pastures, Vjeljamichy 2014.  Від праз возера Сіяцы на летныя пашы, Велямічы 2014 г.

Photos of the Day for August 29, 2014

August 28, 2014 7:00 pm

Faces of Machul’ 2014.  Мачуль у тварах 2014 г.

Khvjedar (Theodore) and Maryja.  Спадар Хведар і спадарыня Марыя.

Neighbors Khvjedar and Maryja were sitting on a nearby bench when we stopped to photograph the three crosses of Machul’ (see photo of the day for August 27), and we chatted amiably.

Then two frontier scouts approached to greet us.  Скаўты.

Photo of the Day for August 28, 2014

August 27, 2014 7:00 pm

Blessing of pupils for the new school year, Azdamichy 2013.  Дабраславеньне вучняў перад новым школьным годам, Аздамічы 2013 г.

At the end of August churches throughout Belarus bless pupils and the new school year.  In Azdamichy Father Aljaksandr traditionally peeforms the blessing for pupils following the liturgy for the feast of the Dormition on August 28.

Photos of the Day for August 27, 2014

August 26, 2014 7:00 pm

Crosses of Belarus (part XXI):  Machul’ 2007 and 2014.  Крыжы Беларусі (частка ХХІ):  Мачуль 2007 і 2014 гг.

No one in Machul’ remembers why three crosses were placed together at this spot by the River Moustva.  The crosses remain a point of reference for Machulians, and the icons and runners are periodically refreshed.  However, in the seven years since I first photographed the crosses they have been submerged by surrounding vegetation.

2007.

2014.

Photos of the Day for August 26, 2014

August 25, 2014 7:00 pm

Boats along the River Moustva (Mastva), Machul’ 2014.  Лодкі на р. Моўства (Маства), Мачуль 2014 г.

 

Photos of the Day for August 25, 2014

August 24, 2014 7:00 pm

River Moustva (Mastva), Machul’ 2014.  Рака Моўства (Маства), Мачуль 2014 г.

Photo of the Day for August 24, 2014

August 23, 2014 7:00 pm

Machul’ 2014.  Мачуль 2014 г.

A tranquil afternoon.  Лянівы дзень.

Photos of the Day for August 23, 2014

August 22, 2014 7:00 pm

Machul’ 2014.  Мачуль 2014 г.

A husband and wife, busy in their garden, enjoyed the sight of me taking photos of these horses and said that the frisky foal was only two days old.  The mare was less enthusiastic about my approach.

Photos of the Day for August 22, 2014

August 21, 2014 7:00 pm

Machul’ 2014.  Мачуль 2014 г.

Nestled on the River Moustva (Mastva), the village of Machul’ in the central Pripet Marshes celebrates its five-hundredth anniversary in 2014.  Machulians themselves and inhabitants of neighboring villages consider Machul’ to have an aristocratic identity; indeed, many Machulians are conscious of their roots in the minor nobility of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and later the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

Time and the river flow slowly in Machul’, but they flow inexorably, and while every visit feels like coming home, there are always changes to reckon with.  At the beginning of May the old wooden bridge in Machul’ was still standing, if infirmly.  A visit three weeks later brought the sad sight that the bridge had collapsed, although one was pleased to see how the local kids had turned the jumble of planks and pilings into a Huck Finn adventure.